Penn House and Holy Trinity, Penn

For hundreds of years, Penn House and Holy Trinity Penn have shared a close heritage, and when I visited, it was the rain that brought them together.

A Wet Week in Wales

This post is not so much about what to see and do in Wales, but what has been shared about Wales in the past 50 years.

A beautiful beach, birds and tolling bells

"Don't go near the taxi drivers!" screamed the guidebook, "they're rude and aggressive". Not so, our non-Uber Uber driver, who thought that a popular Barbara Streisand ballad on maximum decibels, would set the scene for our girls weekend away. What strikes you first when heading along the Promenade des Anglais into the Old Town of … Continue reading A beautiful beach, birds and tolling bells

Tools of the Trade

The weight of history is upon Jon Tyler’s broad shoulders as one of the last producers of watercress in the Chilterns. Located in the beautiful Chess Valley that links Chesham in the Chilterns with Rickmansworth just inside the M25, E. Tyler & Son’s Crestyl Watercress farm is something of a novelty; in a high tech … Continue reading Tools of the Trade

Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

I wonder how many of the declarations of love carved on the beechwood tree trunks, still hold true today? Anonymous initials, an evocative place name and the ghost of a Celtic tribal chief? It seems fitting that such a place, whilst no longer occupied, still draws visitors who wish also to leave their mark, and a former … Continue reading Sharpenhoe Clappers: what’s in a name?

Tastes of the Chess Valley

Drinking before lunchtime is not without risk; needing a loo whilst out on the trail, not finding the trail, or failing to turn up for lunch on time! The Chilterns is a living, working area of beautiful countryside whose character has been shaped by agriculture, industry and the people who have lived and worked here over … Continue reading Tastes of the Chess Valley

The Charming Chess Valley

We stop to tickle the horses’ noses and listen to the birdsong along the valley before cutting up to walk back through the chocolate box hamlet of Latimer and the extraordinary Boer War memorials on the green that hints of battles fought and lost in a far-off land and a horse's heart buried in Latimer.

No. 132 Piccotts End. A cautionary tale of why it’s not a good idea to smoke in bed.

This Chilterns village has one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard. And the most sensational 16th century murals in the country. Extremely rare and of national importance, these Pre-Reformation Catholic paintings, were hidden behind a sheet of course hand-woven linen until they were discovered by Arthur Lindley in 1953.

The Vintner with Rocks in his Pockets

Meet the vintner who reaches deep into the South African soil and history, who like a good wine, has blended ancient rocks, sunlight, the smell and memories the soil holds, Cape honey bees, Cornish tin miners and black magic. All of which have cast a spell over me! The hot summer night air was conducive … Continue reading The Vintner with Rocks in his Pockets

United Selfies of America

The United States national parks celebrate an impressive 100th anniversary year in 2016 and what a privilege it was to re-visit some of the national parks over the summer. Living on an island that would easily fit into some of the American national parks, I had forgotten about the space, big skies, sheer spectacle, that if you don’t have a … Continue reading United Selfies of America